Texas man travels to Orlando to sexually assault 9-year-old girl, police say

Mark Nichols arrested on arrival to meeting site

By Emilee Speck - Digital journalist

ORLANDO, Fla. - A 64-year-old man from Texas was arrested Saturday after Orlando detectives foiled his plans to meet a 9-year-old girl for sex, according to the Orlando Police Department.

An Orlando police detective was working undercover online in September and posted an advertisement on an e-commerce website as the Orlando parents of a 9-year-old girl. The ad referenced meeting "experienced parents to learn new things from about raising little ones," according to the arrest report.

Mark Andrew Nichols, of Austin, Texas, responded to the detective's post the same day it went live. He said he was "very interested" and wanted to talk more, the detective said. During the course of a week, Nichols sent several emails and texts to the fictitious parents expressing his interest in meeting, according to the arrest report.

About eight days later, the detective responded to Nichols posing as the father of the girl. The fake father explained to Nichols that he and his wife were trying to get their 9-year-old daughter into modeling and asked him what types of "interests" he had about the girl, the detective wrote in the report.

"When you say interests, are you asking generally? Or sexually?" Nichols responded to the father.

The suspect added that he was "fascinated" with incest and it was an "extreme turn on" for him. Nichols told the detective that he wanted to have sex with the 9-year-old but wanted to make sure the girl's parents were "comfortable' with it first. He told the detective posing as the father that he would love to "watch" or  participate, according to the report.

Nichols added, "I am extremely respectful about all of this," and said he was planning a trip to the Orlando area soon and would like to meet the family, according to the report.

The detective, posing as the father, asked what Nichols would like to do with the girl.

According to the arrest report, Nichols responded:

“I would like to visit you all. I am interested in having sex with (child decoy’s name) and (the child decoy’s mother’s name). I am bi so I am open to some bi play with you if you are interested. If you are not, that is fine. I would maybe like to watch you have sex with (the child). Be there. Touch and re-assure her. Then have sex with her myself. Would (the child) want to watch me with mom?” He further texted, “I want to be respectful and just provide you all with a fun, safe experience.”

Further text messages between the decoy parents and the suspect were graphic.

The detective, posing as the mother, asked Nichols if he had a daughter or had ever done any of the things he described to his own children. Nichols said he "enjoyed bath time" with his own daughter, but "back then, I would just never do anything," according to the report.

On Saturday, Nichols flew to Orlando and when he arrived to meet with the girl and her parents he was arrested. He brought Skittles and Sour Patch Kids to the meeting, according to the report.

Nichols is charged with attempted sexual battery on a child under 12, attempted lewd or lascivious conduct, solicitation of a minor via a computer, obscene communication, traveling to meet a minor and unlawful use of a two-way device.

Nichols was booked into the Orange County Jail. According to jail records, he is being held without bail.

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